It Is A Chance

Today, I felt more like a valuable commodity than any other day of my life.

Job fair at my school today (we call this one Tech Fest, highlighting engineering firms that are looking for potential engineering interns and employees). I was extremely nervous; I tend to be like that for any event that registers as “important” to me. I had narrowed my desires down to three of the twenty-something firms that were present, and had run some background research. I had my resume re-worked, my clothes ironed, and my shoes buffed. Last night the hour between 9 and 10 o’clock was spent at Kinkos, printing and binding a fresh copy of a technical report that I had been involved in last semester.

At Tech Fest, I began to jump in and shared information about myself to some of the representatives. Most were friendly and informative. Some seemed like they were asked to be there yesterday by someone who simply couldn’t be bothered. Regardless, I learned a fair share about the companies and the people that they attract.

There came a big shock when I went over to one booth. I must have spent 40 minutes waiting in line to speak with a woman for whom I received a tip that she was hiring mechanical engineers. Nerves kicked in and out, but thankfully my buddy Mike was by my side to ease things out. I kept telling myself: “All I have to do is meet someone new and talk about the things I’m interested in. I do this every day.”

I apologize for the person behind me in line, because I must have spent 20 minutes speaking one-on-one with this woman. She was very enthusiastic about her work; testing navigation systems for aerospace research at a nearby and very respected facility. She asked me about my goals, my strengths, and spoke very favorably about what she had seen in me. I was given her email address to send .pdf copies of the work that I had brought in, so she could read it later.

Two hours later, I received a call from her, asking for further information about my graduation.

In an unfortunate mistake, I had accidentally silenced my phone on this woman when she called the first time, but she once again called back immediately. The way that she explained herself, and spoke so favorably about our meeting, was incredible. I have never before felt so honored and so able to be an engineer. Those words simply don’t say enough.

I thanked her for her time, and took off from there, standing a bit taller than my body gives me credit for (eat your heart out John Mayer). While this may not result in anything out of the ordinary, the extraordinary sense of accomplishment and professionalism has provided a much needed boost to my self esteem. Naturally, I will continue to apply to other firms, but for my first chance at speaking face to face with someone in a position such as hers… Nothing I can do alone can amount to that.

So I say thank you to those who helped re-work my resume. Thank you to those who helped iron my clothes. Thank you to those who helped me shine my shoes. And thank you to those who stood by me to calm my nerves, and help remind me of who I am.

This may not be my big chance, but it is a chance, and I will be looking into it with eagerness and critical eyes as the potential unfolds.


~ by MichaelStaudenmeir on February 18, 2011.

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